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|Also Known As:||Edward Vincent Bracken||Died:||November 14, 2002|
|Born:||February 7, 1915||Cause of Death:||Complications of surgery following a fall in his home|
|Birth Place:||Queens, New York, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor voice actor theatrical producer vaudevillian|
Diminutive former vaudevillian whose screen humor was of the fast, physical and furious kind. Beginning his career with Paramount in 1940, Bracken was at his hilariously frenzied, bumbling, stuttering best in two Preston Sturges films: "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" and "Hail The Conquering Hero" (both 1944). One critic at the time described the typical Bracken role as "the long-suffering, plaintive type who muddles through difficult situations, never knowing quite how he escapes with a whole skin." He briefly achieved star status in these and several other comedies and musicals at Paramount, but his nervous hayseed persona was too narrowly defined to sustain stardom and he was again playing comic second leads by the end of the decade. Bracken's film career petered out in the mid-1950s, but he kept busy into the 60s with TV work on game shows and live comedy, drama, and musical specials.
Bracken also returned to the New York stage in the 1950s, appeared with Carol Channing in the late '70s touring revival of "Hello, Dolly!" which also ran on Broadway and earned Bracken a Tony nomination. After being re-discovered in the 1980s by director John Hughes, who cast the actor in his films "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Home Alone 2" and "Baby's Day Out," Bracken enjoyed renewed activity in the 90s with supporting roles in "Oscar" (1991) and "Rookie of the Year" (1993), as the grandfather in Arthur Miller's made-for-TV "The American Clock" (TNT, 1993) and as Father Burke in the short-lived 1994 NBC drama series, "Winnetka Road."
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